Aren’t these just adorable?
I do love a good red wine poached pear (evidently, as I’ve blogged a recipe using them before!), but when you pair (ba dum tsh!) them with a smooth homemade custard? Yes!
I started with the custard by adding the milk, vanilla pod and almond extract to a large saucepan and bringing to the boil. Once bubbling I removed this from the heat.
In a separate heatproof bowl I beat together the egg yolks and sugar. (There’s only 4 egg yolks in the photo because I actually made half the recipe, but it wasn’t enough so doubled it for the post!)
I then beat in the flour and cornflour.
I poured the hot vanilla-infused milk into the egg mixture, whisking to combine as I poured.
I strained this through a sieve into a clean saucepan, and put this back on a medium heat to thicken.
Once thickened, I poured this into a bowl, pressed some cling film onto the surface of the custard to cover and to stop a skin from forming. I left this to chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
I added a bottle of red wine, sugar, a vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, and 2 star anise to a large saucepan and brought this to the boil to dissolve the sugar.
Once boiling, I reduced this to a simmer and added my peeled pears. I then poured in some boiling water to make sure the pears were covered.
I let this bubble away and poach for 30minutes until the pears had softened. (You may want to place a piece of foil on the surface of the liquid to make sure the pears are fully submerged.)
I then left the pears to cool in the poaching liquid to deepen in colour.
For the sweet crust pastry, I placed the flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt in a large bowl and mixed together.
I then added the egg yolks and brought this together with my hands to a soft sticky dough. I turned this out onto a lightly floured surface and clumped together into a circle, wrapped in cling film and chilled in the fridge for 30 minutes.
(I realise I forgot to take photo’s of the rest… oops!)
I rolled out the chilled pastry to ½cm thickness and cut out circles wider than my mini tart tins. I lay the dough circles into the greased mini tart tins, pressed in the edges, then pricked the base with a fork. I placed a piece of greaseproof paper and baking beans into each tart and baked these for 15minutes at 200°C, then for a further 5 mins without baking beans.
I left these to cool completely before spooning in some custard, and placing a poached pear on top. (For the twisted pears, I sliced downwards going around the pear and twisted gently to fan out.)
- For the custard/creme pat:
- 1.2l whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 8 egg yolks
- 440g caster sugar
- 80g plain flour
- 4tbsp cornflour
- 2tsp almond extract
- For the poached pears:
- 6 small pears, peeled with the core scooped out and the stalks intact
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 1 vanilla pod
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 whole star anise
- For the sweet crust pastry:
- 165g plain flour
- 25g ground almonds
- pinch of salt
- 50g caster sugar
- 120g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 egg
- Pour the milk and almond extract into a large saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the milk, along with the pod. Bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat.
- In a heatproof bowl, beat together the egg yolks, sugar and flours to a thick paste.
- Pour in the warm vanilla infused milk, whisking to mix.
- Strain through a sieve into a new clean saucepan and put back on a medium heat. Cook until thickened.
- Spoon into a bowl and cover with cling film, pressing it onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
- Leave to chill in the fridge completely. (Minimum of 2 hours.)
- Add the red wine, sugar, scraped vanilla pod, cinnamon stick and star anise to a large saucepan and bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the peeled pears and top with water to make sure they’re covered.
- Reduce to a simmer and poach for 20 – 30mins until the pears are soft. You can place a piece of foil on the surface to make sure the pears are fully submerged and colour evenly.
- Remove from the heat but leave the pears to cool in the poaching liquid to get a deeper colour.
- Place the flour, ground almonds, caster sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- Rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients till you get a breadcrumb texture.
- Add the egg and bring together to a soft dough.
- Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a circle.
- Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30mins before using.
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Once the dough has chilled, roll out to ½cm thickness and cut out circles of dough wider than the mini tart tins.
- Lay the circles into the tart tins and press in the edges. Prick the base with a fork.
- Place a piece of greaseproof paper and baking beans into the tart tins and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, spoon in some of the chilled custard.
- Slice the poached pears and lay on top. (For the fanned out pear, slice downwards around the pear and twist gently.)